Victorian bushfires update
Allianz initiates disaster response plan; total industry insured losses could reach half a billion dollars
Sydney, 9 February 2009
In response to the Victorian bushfire disaster Allianz has initiated its ‘Event Response Plan’ to assist affected customers.
Nicholas Scofield, General Manager Corporate Affairs, said: “Our thoughts are with all those affected by this unprecedented tragedy, in particular, our customers, employees, and their families. Allianz is pulling out all stops to provide assistance as quickly as possible to our customers and business partners.”
“As at the end of Monday, Allianz had received nearly 220 claims with a value of more than $15 million but we expect to receive many more over coming days and weeks. We have already made a number of emergency payments to customers and these funds were transferred to customers’ bank accounts today.”
As part of the Event Response Plan, Allianz has initiated the following:
- Allianz has established a dedicated Event Team in our Victorian Claims Unit to deal exclusively with affected customers. Allianz also has additional claims consultants assisting from around Australia to ensure that we can respond to customers’ needs as quickly as possible.
- Incoming phone callers have a priority selection at the beginning of the phone queue which will put affected customers directly through to the Victorian Response Team.
- Allianz is working together with its loss adjusting partners, Crawfords and GAB Robins, to ensure priority service for affected customers. Additional staff have been allocated to this event and, where possible, assessors have already travelled to impacted areas.
- Allianz is fast tracking emergency payments where required to assist customers through the initial period when they may need money for food and clothing etc.
- Allianz is currently running advertisements on Melbourne radio and from tomorrow, will run advertisements in local newspapers such as The Age, to promote Allianz’s dedicated claims hotline number – 13 1000.
- Allianz has dedicated staff available at the Whittlesea Emergency Relief Centre to assist customers with queries and claims lodgement.
Mr Scofield added “it is still early days, with some residents yet to gain access to their properties. Further, there are many residents that are still without accommodation, power or transport, and this can cause delays in their ability to lodge a claim. As the situation progresses, Allianz is well-placed to ensure additional dedicated staff are available to deal with circumstances in a timely manner.”
“We see our role as providing service of the highest level so we can make managing the material loss of the bushfires as stress free as possible for our customers as they start to come to terms with the larger impact of what has occurred. Whilst we have much work ahead of us, Allianz is committed to assisting our customers recover as best as can be expected from the bushfires,” Mr Scofield said.
Mr Scofield concluded, “the situation is still ongoing and we will be in a better position to assess the full impact of the situation over the coming days and weeks. However, there is no question that this event will be the most damaging bushfire in Australian history. Total insured losses across the whole industry will be in the many hundreds of millions of dollars and could well reach half a billion dollars.”
Best General Insurance Company 2006*
Best General Insurance Company 2007*
The Allianz Australia Group operates in Australia and New Zealand. It is one of Australia’s largest general insurers, a leading private workers’ compensation insurer, and also provides life insurance.
Allianz Australia delivers a wide range of personal, commercial and corporate insurance products and services. AAL is proud to be of service to more than 2 million policy holders and over 50% of Australia’s top 200 BRW listed companies have some form of insurance cover with the group.
Allianz Australia offers a wide range of insurance products and services including car insurance
, home insurance
and Life insurance
Allianz Australia has approximately 3300 staff. In 2007, the company achieved a gross written premium exceeding AU$2.4 billion and investment assets of approximately AU$5.5 billion. Allianz Australia Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of the worldwide Allianz Group, one of the world’s largest financial services companies.
Allianz’s commitment to social, environmental and economic sustainability has been acknowledged internationally by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which recognised Allianz as the most sustainable general insurer in the world in 2007. In Australia, Allianz is a member of the Greenhouse Challenge Plus program, which is a cooperative partnership between industry and the Australian Government that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
*Australian Banking and Finance Insurance Awards